Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Chapter 12: Race Horses And Throwing Knives


The Mom was standing in the center of the stable holding a long tether with a Therabred Appaloosa cross attached to the other end.  His name was Chief the son of Khalif, who was sire to many great race horses including Secretariat the triple crown winner of 1980.  The first triple crown winner of more than 29 years.  The Mom was quietly clicking and taping Chief on the rump with a long leather lead.  

Standing in the North corner of the stable was The Old Man, who was smiling and nodding his approval. The Old Man had taught The Mom everything she knew about training horses.  His philosophy was to treat the animal with respect and you will gain respect in return.   The Mom was known across the country for her horse training skills.   These are Horse People.

The Old Man and The Dad were seen in the late evening by The Boy standing in the middle of an open field.  The Dad would smile and raise an arm, run across the field and strike at The Old Man, Who would magically disappear from in front of The Dad and reappear behind him in an instant.  There would be a flurry of movement from his feet to his hands and The Dad would be airborne to land again on his feet laughing and adjusting his glasses.  The Old Man would in turn do the attacking and The Dad rolled under The Old Man's feet taking him off the ground.  The Old Man would sit roll and rise on his feet laughing.  This exchange played out back and forth, back and forth until the Sun dipped low on the horizon.  

The next morning The Boy was greeted by The Dad at the foot of the back door stairs to the Bel Aire.  He had a Kabar Marine knife in his hand that looked newly sharpened and polished.  He walked The Boy to an area on the side of The Old Man's garage.  Leaning against the garage the long way at ground level was an old telephone pole.  It was 40 feet long and looked hard as nails.  

The Dad looked at The Boy with fire in his eyes.  The Dad's eyes were a bright blue with flames flying from their orbs.  He said, "Notice the condition of this knife.  It is clean, new looking, and very sharp.  After you are done today it will look in the same condition it is in now, Do what I do and don't stop until you can do it Consistently, Savy? Keep your eyes on me."

He flipped the knife once in the air catching it by the back of the blade, twisting his wrist over knife up, he pointed at the pole on the ground and let loose a throw that flipped once in the air and stuck perfectly at a perpendicular angle to the pole.  He pointed at the knife, looked at The Boy, and walked away.

The Boy tried pulling the knife out of the telephone pole.  It did not come out easily, as the matter of fact it was stuck up to the hilt and took some rather intense pulling, cursing, and grunting that finally freed the knife.  It was still clean, how'd that happen? 

He tried flipping the knife.  That didn't land exactly the way he thought it would.  He finely caught it in his palm correctly and twisted blade up and let it loose.  It didn't flip.  It flew straight and hard hitting the pole dead center on the butt of the handle, with a loud clang and metal ping.  He was beginning to get frustrated.  He kept throwing, and throwing, and throwing.  Finely he tossed a toss that stuck, and fell out.  "It stuck." he thought.  Now there was hope.

The secret was all in the way he flipped and twisted the blade to get it to do one flip in the air before sticking.  He began sticking his blade a majority of the time now so he took a break to clean the knife.  Oh boy, it needed cleaning and straightening.  It seems that other than a proper flip and twist it needed the right trajectory to keep from being bent to hell.  It took some oil, a plyers, hammer, and a soft cloth to get it just right.  Then he went back to throwing.  

The Boy started this practice early in the morning, the sun was now threatening to go down and he was still feeling unsure about his throw.  He began pacing back and forth in front of the Telephone pole when a hand grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around on his heals.  He was face to face with The Dad who handed him the knife and said, "Throw."

The Boy was petrified.  He looked at The Dad, and saw standing in the Northern Corner of the yard, The Old Man who was smiling.  The Boy stepped 25 paces away from the pole turned and flipped the knife once.  It landed in the palm of his hand.  He twisted his wrist over once and let loose.  The knife flipped once perfectly and sunk up to the hilt in the pole with a loud Thunk.  The Dad walked over and dislodged the knife from the pole, looked it over hard, smiled at The Boy and said, "You Pass."  The Old Man laughed.  He had learned The Dad's throwing technique.  

Peace and Balance,


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